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How Do I Know If My Loved One Needs Assisted Living in the Home?

Jan 2, 2018 by Stephanie Howe - Owner, Comfort Keepers

How Do I Know If My Loved One Needs Assisted Living in the Home?


It can be difficult to determine if a loved one, such as a parent or spouse, needs in-home care. It can also be difficult to know what kind of care your loved one will need. Fortunately, there are several types of home health care available, including home caregiving services and private duty nursing. Here's what you need to know about private duty nurses so you can decide if your loved one would benefit from their services.  

What is a Private Duty Nurse?

Private duty nurses are licensed nurses who help patients in their homes. They can be Licensed Practical Nurses (LPNs) or registered nurses (RNs). These medical professionals have gone through the education and training necessary to look after the medical needs of your loved one.

To become an LPN, prospective nurses complete a one-year accredited certification program. They must then take a test called the National Council Licensure Examination for Practical Nurses (NCLEX-PN) to obtain licensure as a nurse. RNs earn a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree, Associate's Degree in Nursing, or a Diploma in Nursing. RNs must also take the NCLEX examination for Registered Nurses to become a licensed nurse. All licensed nurses must first gain supervised clinical experience working with patients. You can rest easy knowing a private duty nurse is fully trained and equipped to take care of your loved one's medical needs.

How Can a Private Duty Nurse Help My Loved One?

A private duty nurse can help your loved one with their medical needs in the comfort of their own home. Would your loved one benefit from a private duty nurse? Here are some questions to consider:

  • Does your loved one need frequent medical care, but want to stay in his or her home? Many seniors are reluctant to leave their homes, even though they require more care than friends and relatives can provide. Private duty nurses are a great compromise between the patient's wants and their medical needs.
  • Does your loved one need help taking medications? Private duty nurses are trained to help with whatever type of medication your loved one needs--from inhalants and oxygen to topical and oral medicines.
  • Does your loved one need help remembering to take medications? Private duty nurses can help organize medications for your loved one, so they never forget to take a pill.
  • Does your loved one need help with their ostomy pouch or catheter? Private duty nurses can discreetly help with these necessary hygiene functions.

Private Duty Nurse vs Home Caregiver: What's the Difference?

Home caregivers are also sometimes called home health aides. These caring professionals help your loved one with everyday tasks, such as errands, meals, hygiene, and light housework. They also provide companionship and mental stimulation for the people they serve. The difference between a home caregiver and a private duty nurse is that a private duty nurse is licensed to assist your loved one with medical issues. Private duty nurses work closely with home caregivers, communicating about the patient's needs to make sure they receive the best care possible. Additionally, private duty nurses communicate with your loved one's doctors and other members of their medical team.


Making decisions about assisted living in the home for your loved one isn't easy. But knowing that both private duty nurses and home caregivers are trained in senior care to help your loved one can give you peace of mind.  


Our team of professional caregivers at Comfort Keepers are ready to assist your loved one in the Monroe Township, New Jersey area. If you have any questions about private nursing and home health care for your loved one, don't hesitate to contact us at 732-521-1777. Our goal is to help your loved one live their best life at home.  


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